Essays on Science and Society

2010 Grand Prize Winner

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6005, pp. 771
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6005.771

The author of the prize-winning essay, Christopher Gregg, received his B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Lethbridge, Canada. His graduate studies were carried out under Samuel Weiss at the University of Calgary. In 2006, he joined Catherine Dulac's laboratory at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and the Human Frontiers Science Program. Gregg's postdoctoral work has focused on the development of next-generation sequencing approaches to study genomic imprinting and allele-specific gene expression programs in the brain. In 2011, he will join the University of Utah as an assistant professor, where he plans to work toward understanding genetic and epigenetic pathways that influence feeding and neuroeconomic decision-making processes.



Ed Boyden, for his essay “Molecular Tools for Controlling Brain Circuits with Light.” Boyden is an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his group develops tools for controlling and observing neural circuits in order to understand how they compute and to yield new strategies for the treatment of brain disorders. He received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University working with Jennifer Raymond and Richard Tsien on the molecular mechanisms of memory storage. In a collaboration with Georg Nagel and Karl Deisseroth, he pioneered the use of channelrhodopsin-2 for optical activation of neurons. His group at MIT has developed reagents for optically silencing neural activity and hardware platforms for light delivery into the brain, and has distributed these optogenetic tools to many groups worldwide.


Adam Kepecs, for his essay “Are you Certain? The Neural Basis for Decision Confidence.” Kepecs received his bachelor's degree in computer science and mathematics at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary in 1997. He then switched to studying the brain, completing his Ph.D. in theoretical neuroscience in the laboratory of John Lisman at Brandeis University. In 2002, he joined the laboratory of Zachary Mainen at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he began studying decision-making in rats. Since 2007, he has been an assistant professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he uses quantitative behavioral models and electrophysiological, optical, and molecular techniques to study the neural circuitry underlying decision-making in rodents.


For the full text of finalist essays and for information about applying for next year's awards, see Science Online at

Navigate This Article